ST. LOUIS -- Kirk Cousins had just four incomplete passes against the St. Louis Rams in the Washington Redskins' Week 2 victory. It only gets tougher for the secondary with Ben Roethlisberger, Carson Palmer and Aaron Rodgers coming up.
They need the pass rush to step up, the linebackers to shed blocks and the secondary to converge quickly this week against Pittsburgh (1-1). None of that happened at Washington.
"Pressure is the key to stopping any quarterback," coach Jeff Fisher said of Roethlisberger after practice Tuesday night. "You have to minimize gains and you have to make plays and hope he throws a few incompletions."
Opponents have completed 81 percent of their passes against the Rams (1-1), next to worst in the NFL and just one percentage point better than Detroit.
Cousins was 23 of 27 for 203 yards and Russell Wilson was 32 of 41 for 251 yards in the opener.
"It was kind of eye-boggling to me," safety Rodney McLeod said after seeing that statistic. "Obviously, we want to bring that down."
Defense is the Rams' strength and they figured to have the edge against the unproven Cousins, but simply gave up too many chunks of yardage. While taking a 10-0 lead in the first quarter, Washington had two pass plays and two runs longer than 20 yards, including Matt Jones' 39-yard touchdown run.
Jones' 25-yard run set up Cousins' 4-yard TD pass to Pierre Garcon to make it 17-0 in the second quarter. Cousins' 29-yard pass to tight end Jordan Reed set up Jones' TD run that made it 24-10 late in the fourth.
Cornerback Janoris Jenkins was among a group of players who thought the Rams started "sluggish," and weren't able to regroup.
"We know we're better than that," Jenkins added.
"We've got to be disruptive," end Robert Quinn said. "It wasn't our worst game, but they made a few great plays."
The holes against the run paved the way for the Redskins' success in the air. The Washington line consistently made it to the second level.
"It's getting off blocks," Fisher said. "They did a really nice job."
This, against a team that lost its opener at home 17-10 to Miami.
The secondary was down a man early with cornerback Trumaine Johnson benched for violating a team rule, but that ban lasted only six plays.
The offense, dogged by mistakes and dropped passes, bears plenty of responsibility for the shortcomings. The Rams were 2 for 12 on third-down conversions, half of them third-and-10 or longer, and held the ball for just 22 minutes and 16 seconds.
Thus far, St. Louis has run 44 fewer plays than its opponents.
"That doesn't give your defense a chance to even rest, let alone give your offense a chance to make plays," Fisher said.
After a light workout Tuesday night, Fisher was noncommittal on running back Todd Gurley playing this week.
"He looked great today," Fisher said. "He's excited and we'll just see what happens."
Fisher said players seemed to have bounced back well from the disappointment.
"They have a short memory, which is important," Fisher said. "We got things corrected and now we have a great challenge on our hands with this coming opponent."